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Poster Information:
This poster may be of particular interest to:  Practicing and Applied Anthropologists     Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges     Students
Type: Poster
Poster Title: CLASSIC MAYA WOODEN ARCHITECTURE: UNDERWATER SURVEY AT THE JOHN SPANG SALT WORKS, BELIZE
Author: ELIZABETH SILLS (Louisiana State University), HEATHER MCKILLOP (Louisiana State University)   
Date/Time: Sat., 1:45 PM-3:30 PM
Co-Author(s): ELIZABETH SILLS (Louisiana State University), HEATHER MCKILLOP (Louisiana State University) 
Abstract: An immense salt industry developed along the coast of Belize where the Classic Maya (A.D. 300-900) produced salt for trade and distribution to the urban Maya at inland cities, where this biological necessity was scarce. Salt works in Paynes Creek National Park on the south coast of Belize were submerged by sea-level rise, which preserved wooden architecture below the sea floor. We report the discovery, mapping, and GIS spatial analysis of 149 wooden posts at the John Spang salt works, one of the Paynes Creeks sites investigated as part of an ongoing Louisiana State University project “Mapping Ancient Maya Wooden Architecture Below the Seafloor.” The spatial distribution of the wooden posts reveals a “mental template” in the building and construction of structures associated with salt production. Since wood normally decays in the tropical landscape of the Maya area, the John Spang Site wooden architecture provides basic information about pole and thatch architecture of the ancient Maya, known mainly from modern and historic Maya wooden architecture. The wooden architecture at the John Spang Site is associated with salt production, as indicated by the presence of briquetage—broken salt making pottery vessels.

Program Number: 4-0650
Session Title: MESOAMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Sat., 1:45 PM-3:30 PM
Organizer(s): ANNUAL MEETING PROGRAM COMMITTEE (AAA) 
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